Clematis 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR

Clematis of the Month for July 2020

described by Fiona Woolfenden

C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLE©Fiona Woolfenden

I grew Clematis 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR last year for the first time and I knew very quickly that it was a good clematis for my garden. It bloomed profusely and for a long time. Looking back at my photos I see that I have pictures of flowers taken at the beginning of July and at the end of August. I was really impressed as it just seemed to keep flowering in spite of being only a one-year old plant.

My enthusiasm for C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR has not waned this year, I still like it and it has been blooming well for the last month. The first photo I took this year of a fully open flower was on 2nd of June. It has been a very early start to the season. Normally, I do not expect a plant that I pruned down to about a foot over winter to flower so soon, but it is good that this one has!

This year I have noticed a lot more variation in the flowers in both colour and shape, perhaps because they started flowering earlier when the nights were colder. The flowers are attractive with a red/pink/purple edging to the tepals with a lighter pale pink centre and with darker veining. The flowers actually open darker and then fade gradually over time, so they end up similar to the picture at the top of this page. With flowers at different stages the overall effect is quite colourful.

The shape of the flowers is also varied. Generally, the tepals are rounded with a pointed centre to the tepal but some are a lot spikier. The flowers vary in size from 7 to 10 cms (3 to 4 inches) and generally have 6 tepals, though some only have 4 or 5. The flowers generally face you as the flower stems are a nice length.

A young, just-opened, C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLE©Fiona Woolfenden A cluster of young, just-opened, C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLE©Fiona Woolfenden

A young, just-opened,
C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR flower

A cluster of young, just-opened,
C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR flowers

I chose C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR to grow in a south facing position on a trellis to complement and lift a darker purple clematis, Clematis 'Night Veil'. This worked well last year as the two flowered at the same time and this is when the picture below was taken. C. 'Night Veil' is on the right, C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR in the middle with the bluer Clematis 'Chatsworth' on the left. 

Left to right - C. 'Chatsworth, C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLE, C. 'Night Veil'©Fiona Woolfenden

From left to right - C. 'Chatsworth', C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR and C. 'Night Veil'

The idea of growing a number of clematis on this trellis was to provide primarily a green background to a Japanese style pond area in my garden which we can see from a seating area near the house. From what I have seen so far C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR is more vigorous and floriferous than I was expecting. I have a number of clematis growing against two 1.8 metres wide (5 ft) fence panels. When the plants are growing quickly in spring I spend a lot of time tying the clematis against the trellis to cover as much of the trellis as possible and then entwining the clematis stems through the trellis and with each other to provide a flat green 'wall'. The flowers then appear here and there throughout the summer. Currently, I can find flowers of C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR 1.8 metres apart. The registration details say that it can grow up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) in which case it will, within a few years, nicely cover the whole trellis area - as C. 'Chatsworth' is starting to - but that is a story for another month!

I live near London, UK, and my soil is heavy clay with added compost. Most of the clematis on this trellis are late flowering clematis which I prune initially in the autumn, about October, to tidy up. Against the trellis are two Chaenomeles × superba 'Crimson and Gold' which provide red flowers with gold centres in the winter and spring. When I see flower buds forming then I hard prune the clematis to about 30 cm from the ground (1 foot) so that the flowers of the Chaenomeles can be seen during winter from the house. It is necessary to prune the clematis before the buds of the Chaenomeles get too big or there is a risk that a number of buds will come off in the pruning process!

Finally, despite my careful planning, the plants decide to do what they want to do and C. 'Zo09113' PERNILLEPBR and C. 'Night Veil' have not yet flowered together this year giving the effect that I hoped for. This gives me something to look forwards next month!

Fiona Woolfenden Fiona Woolfenden

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